Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend in the Mountains

We took a weekend vacation with some friends to Helen, GA to celebrate Oktoberfest 2009. We stayed in a 3-story "cabin" which had 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, 5 flat screen TVs, a basement with air hockey & pool table and a hot tub on the back deck. It was perfect for the 9 of us.

Our friends, Rob and Diane have 3 kids. The oldest (Kaden & Kylie) played so well with Lauren and Tyler that we've decided to always bring K & K along on all our vacations. =)

Here the kids sit at their own table and (reasonably) behave themselves
At night the couples had their own bedroom and the kiddos all shared the third. Lauren and Kylie had the bed while Tyler and Kaden shared an air mattress. This arrangement was amazing. Matt and I got to sleep in until 8:30! thanks to 8-year-old Kaden who entertained the younger three when they woke up. Thank you Kaden!

Saturday we explored the Main Strasse and enjoyed the beautiful, "warm with a touch of crisp" Fall weather.

Tyler and his flower balloon
Lauren, posing like always
Kaden with sword, and Tyler with flower--
ready to defend.

Lauren in the sky
We found a super cool park during our exploration of Helen.

see Tyler running up the path?

Although I'm not a fan of the Fall (solely due to my strong aversion to Winter) I have to admit we saw some beautiful and breath-taking views this weekend.

Saturday night we hung out at our cabin. Dave and Susan also happened to be up in Helen this same weekend so we invited them over for some conversation, drinks and a couple games of pool. 12-month-old Eric had fun playing with 11-month-old Karter (Rob and Diane's youngest.) I wish I had some pictures of those two toddling around.
That night we took advantage of the full kitchen at our cabin and made Baked Ziti, Caprese Salad, Green Salad and Garlic Bread.
On our way out of town on Sunday we checked out Anna Ruby Falls.
Anna we come.
Karter naps for part of the hike.

Lauren requested a picture.
our vacation companions
beautiful Anna Ruby

Tyler was so excited at the Falls he gave me nose kisses.
and some snuggles for Daddy
Lauren and Kylie
After Anna Ruby Falls we parted ways with our friends and started to head home. On our way we stopped at Brasstown Bald. We parked in the parking lot and then hiked the 6/10 of a mile up to the top. Tyler insisted on piggy-backing with Matt while Lauren walked 3/4 of the way all by herself. (This was quite a steep trail.) The last 1/4 of the hike Matt had Lauren on his back and I chugged along with Tyler on mine.
Here we are when we made it to the top. The Forest Ranger let Lauren wear her hat for the photo.
views from the highest point in Georgia
you can see the parking lot below

the family and a view to the NorthWe had a fantastic time this weekend and I highly suggest the Georgia Mountains as a weekend get-a-way. Or a seriously long get-a-way for all of our out-of-state friends and family.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tyler's New Mom

Tyler went to Kirsten's 3rd birthday party at Jump 2 It today.
Here is the gang.
The birthday girl is sitting on her Mama's lap and Tyler is in the blue Dollywood t-shirt.
Tyler was a bit slow to warm up at the party. He hung out next to me and refused to play on any of the toys unless I played too. He kept a grumpy scowl on his face until my friend Denise swooped him up and dragged his crying and flailing self up the bouncy stairs and then slid down the huge slide with him. After that Miss Denise was Tyler's best friend. He followed her everywhere, he grabbed her hand and told her what toy they were going to play on next and he also came up and told me that he "Changed-ed Moms."
(laugh or cry? I laughed and laughed...did he really just say that?!)
Tyler and his "new Mom."
She was such a good sport and luckily her daughter wasn't too jealous of Tyler's affection.

Later in the afternoon Tyler had his first ever SOCCER practice.
(Lauren played with Lea after school so I didn't have to worry about entertaining her.)
It was a beautiful day for soccer.
His coach, "Coach Steve" was super friendly and he had an awesome Irish accent (or maybe it was British, or perhaps from New Zealand, possibly Minnesotan?...regardless, I'm sure the accent made the kids learn a lot more about soccer.
Tyler had a blast. They dribbled the soccer balls all over while playing games.
Find Nemo under a cone.
Flip the cones.
Collect the cones.
Score goals on the coaches (Coach Steve and Coach Chris)
They had water breaks every 20 minutes and were running around laughing, having fun and unknowingly learning how to maneuver a soccer ball.
Since Ian is on Tyler's team, I got to chat with Susan while the boys practiced. It was quite an enjoyable afternoon.
Dinner tonight was quickly thrown together.
Apricot Glazed Salmon with Herb Rice and side of Honey Dew
(please pronounce the "H" in Herb)
I thought this was delish. Even Matt, who does not like salmon at all said it was better than he expected. Iwas also able to find out that Tyler LOVES honey dew and Lauren does not care for it in the least. Good to know.
Time to relax with my hubby and watch some of his TIVO'd shows.
On Now: Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory

Monday, October 19, 2009

you've got to pick your battles

Tyler wanted to wear his soccer cleats again today.
I said, "No Problem!"
Well turns out, he wanted to ONLY wear his soccer cleats.
Since you've got to pick your battles I shrugged and said again, "No Problem."
However, when it was time to go to Publix to pick up the weekly penny item (this week it was Publix brand candy) I made him put on some clothes....he still got to wear the soccer cleats though. After Publix we stopped by JC Penny to take advantage of their big sale this week. The kiddos got to pick out two sets of Pajamas to get them through the winter.

Here they are modeling their brand new PJs. Tyler is sporting some Lightening McQueens and Lauren chose satin bottom PJs with a triple cupcake shirt. And although they
are standing on the sofa (breaking a house rule) I chose to pick my battles and ignore this one.
Dinner tonight was healthy, light and very very good. I made Turkey Gyros* from my new magazine. (I substituted chicken breast for the turkey since that's what I had on hand but otherwise followed the instructions.) My Secret Mom** gave me the latest issue of Diabetic Cooking, which is where I found the recipe. At first I was confused (since I don't have diabetes...yet) but after looking at the recipes I was very intrigued. All the recipes fall low in the Weight Watcher's points range and this particular issue had a Greek cuisine theme. Two things which I admire the most in a recipe. If you're counting Weight Watcher's points, definitely look into Diabetic Magazines and cookbooks. (I bet they're cheaper than the Weight Watchers cookbooks!)
*Gyros: Some claim this is pronounced "YEAR-Os" but I prefer to use the "g" and pronounce it how it's spelled. "GI-ros" I do this solely to irritate Matt...and yes I will order them this way in a restaurant just to see the scowl on his face. =)
**Secret Mom: I have a Secret Mom from my Mom's Club. Every month we give a small gift to our Secret Mom without revealing ourselves. This is a lot of fun and so far my Secret Mom has been a lot cooler than I am! (I apologize to the recipient of my Secret Mom gifts.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween Party 2009

This past Saturday we hosted a Halloween Party in our spooky basement. (We made it spooky by adding fake cobwebs to compliment the real ones.)

Although we stayed up way too late (and yes, 1am is Way Too Late these days) we had a lot of fun hanging out and dancing with some great friends. Here are some pics from my camera. If anyone has better pics (especially more favorable pictures of me) please e-mail them my way.

Roller Girl and Alan w/ Baby Carlos l-r: biker dude in chaps, Jason, Cap't Jack Sparrow, some Scottish dude in a kilt (Gerard Butler perhaps), and Alan & baby Carlos
(feel free to compliment my PhotoShop abilities...y'all know I had to in order to post) Kid Rock and his Wicked Witch
Cowgirl and the Midnight Fairy
Johnny Depp and the Cowgirl
the pirate and his catch of the day (a.k.a. his wife)
(the orange blob is my friend "Beatrice"
she requested not to have her picture show up on Facebook or any other social media.)
Thanks to everyone who came. We had a lot of fun and hope to do this again next year.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Whole Lot of Fun Day

So what about the Balloon Boy family?! Publicity stunt or what?! Actually, I wasted too much time following that yesterday...I don't want to continue today.

Instead, lets talk about our "Whole Lot of Fun Day" we had.

Lauren didn't have school today. Today and Monday are both teacher work days or something or other so we decided to take advantage of the chilly day off and join the Mom's club on a trip to Uncle Bob's Pumpkin Patch. Lauren wanted to wear her green skirt, hot pink t-shirt and white Barbie shoes. I said fine, but insisted she also wear some tights and a sweater. Tyler's only request was to wear his "special shoes called cleats." I thought his request was a great idea due to the potential mud. We picked up neighbor Lea to join us and then we were on our way.

There was a large enough group of us that we had our own tour guide.
First stop: Story Time
Tyler, Lea and Lauren found a seat in the front row.
Next Stop: Hay Ride. (This was the trio's favorite activity) Due to the immense amount of rain we've been getting, the Hay Ride travelled over some muddy (MUDDY!) tracks. Let's just say I was glad NOT to be on the back end of the ride.
Lea found a friend from her Pre-School class. She was pretty excited to get to hang out with Teddy. Both Teddy's Mom (to my right) and I were trying to take pictures of the two. I'm pretty sure neither of us got a picture where they both looked at the same camera.
After the Hay Ride it was off to the Petting Zoo. Tyler wanted to pet "the animal that said BAA." He would go in for a quick touch and then back up a couple of feet and then go back in again. Lauren and Lea were much more comfortable.
After thoroughly washing our hands, Lauren requested a picture of the trio on the rock. And what the girl wants she (occasionally) gets. Check out the mud behind them...Awesome! and plentiful.
Toward the end of our visit we got to watch some Pottery Making. L and T were VERY impressed with this. Lauren was asking questions and being very assertive!! (go girl.) They were amazed at how vases and cups were made so quickly and out of a dusty chunk of clay.
Here Tyler is telling me all about it.

Soon it was time to head home. At home we had lunch and then did some playing.
It's a lot of fun to watch them play together. A lot of times one of them is the Mommy/Daddy and the other two are the Doggies. This provides at least an hour of entertainment.
Later, I asked the kiddos if they wanted to take a nap OR... go play at Lea's house. Surprisingly, they all chose to go play at Lea's house. So off they went.
While they were away I got the basement ready for our little party we're hosting this weekend and did some general cleaning. It's amazing at how much I can get done when the kiddos are away. Thank You Maria...I'm not sure what I'd do without you.
Before dinner I walked over to pick up L and T from Miss Maria's house. When Tyler saw me he tilted his head back, opened his mouth and with a painful expression let out the most pathetic "I don't want to go home" cry you could imagine. So sad...So sad. (He does this every time he has to leave Lea's house.)
Back home we ate dinner, bathed and watched movies until Daddy FINALLY got home safe and sound from his way-too-long work trip. We sure missed him.
And that pretty much concludes our "Whole Lot of Fun Day." I hope y'alls was comparable.
Quote of the night:
Tyler (hopping out of bed and running down the hall toward Lauren's room:) "I need to tuck Lauren night-night." He then climbed up on her bed and gave her the family traditional hug, kiss, and nose kiss. He's such a sweet boy!

Night Night Y'all.